B1 Lesson Plan

Can You Sing a Song? Learn English Through Song Lyrics

Created by ALULA | March 22, 2024

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- Listening, Vocabulary -

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Music is a universal language, but understanding song lyrics in English can be challenging for ESL learners. This captivating lesson plan is designed to use the allure of popular English songs to enhance listening comprehension and vocabulary skills. It is ideal for intermediate-level students who wish to delve into the depths of English music, interpret meaning, and discuss the thematic elements of songs while expanding their linguistic abilities.


Have you ever caught yourself humming to the tune of an English song, eager to understand every word? This lesson plan is tailored to satisfy that curiosity. Through the integration of popular songs, students will sharpen their listening faculties and enrich their vocabulary. In addition to interpreting song meanings, participants will engage in class discussions to exchange perspectives and break down linguistic barriers that musical nuances often present.

Lesson Focus

Students participating in this lesson will gain enhanced listening skills, allowing them to comprehend spoken English more effectively in various contexts. Furthermore, they will expand their vocabulary with colloquialisms and figurative language often found in music, and they will develop the capacity to interpret and discuss abstract concepts found within song lyrics.

Lesson Content

Activity 1: Lyric Listening Comprehension

Approximate Time Needed: 30 minutes

Objective: To improve listening comprehension skills by focusing on specific parts of a song.

Materials: A selected song audio file, printed lyrics with some words missing (cloze activity), and access to a music player. Teachers can source songs from music streaming platforms or purchase individual tracks online for classroom use.


  1. Play the selected song for the class twice, encouraging students to listen carefully.
  2. Hand out the cloze activity sheets with missing lyrics and ask students to write down the words they hear.
  3. Play the song again, allowing students to fill in additional gaps.
  4. Review the correct lyrics as a class and discuss any misheard phrases.

Activity 2: Vocabulary Hunt

Approximate Time Needed: 20 minutes

Objective: To identify and understand new vocabulary within the context of the song.

Materials: Printed lyrics of the song, highlighters, and dictionaries or online vocabulary tools.


  1. Provide students with the printed full lyrics of the same song.
  2. Ask them to highlight unfamiliar words or phrases.
  3. Working in pairs or small groups, students will look up each highlighted term and share the meanings.
  4. Conclude by discussing how these words contribute to the song's overall message.

Activity 3: Lyrical Interpretation and Discussion

Approximate Time Needed: 40 minutes

Objective: To engage interpretive skills and facilitate a discussion based on the song's themes.

Materials: Whiteboard and markers, discussion questions related to the song's content, and printed full lyrics.


  1. Based on the song's lyrics and theme, prepare a set of open-ended discussion questions.
  2. Play the song once more for the students.
  3. Break the class into discussion groups and provide each group with a set of questions.
  4. Foster a group discussion, encouraging each student to share their thoughts and interpretations.
  5. Reconvene as a whole class and share insights gathered from each group.

Activity 4: Creative Expression through Song Analysis:

Approximate Time Needed: 30 minutes

Objective: Encourage creative expression and critical thinking by analyzing the song's artistic elements.

Materials: Printed lyrics, art supplies (paper, markers, colored pencils), and music playback equipment.


  1. Discuss with students the artistic elements present in songs, such as metaphors, imagery, and symbolism.
  2. Play the selected song and ask students to pay attention to these elements.
  3. After listening, provide time for students to individually or collaboratively create visual representations (drawings, sketches, or symbols) of the song's core themes and emotions.
  4. Each student or group shares their creative expression, explaining the choices made in relation to the song's lyrics.
  5. Facilitate a class discussion on how different artistic interpretations contribute to a deeper understanding of the song

Wrap Up

In this lesson, we've used the universal appeal of music to create a dynamic ESL learning experience. Students not only practiced listening to native English through song but also expanded their vocabulary and engaged in interpretative and critical thinking exercises. It's a way to make learning English enjoyable and culturally enlightening, connecting language learning with students' personal interests in music.

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